AirQuiz News

1 Aug 2016 : CAA - Updated SERA explanation link

CAA have been reorganising their website and some links have been moved. Considering the number of people that are asking us about SERA and the changes, we are publishing the new link to a page which gives succinct overview information on the CAA website. See http://www.caa.co.uk/Commercial-Industry/Airspace/Rules-of-the-air/SERA-Implementation/. Essential reading (and no, don't ask us about how this will change post Brexit!)

21 May 2016 : Database and Explanations Updated

We have been updating questions within Air Law to add new questions relating to The Rules of the Air Regulations 2015 and the Standardised European Rules of the Air (SERA). We have also retired some questions that are no longer being examined. Whilst doing so, we have also updated some of our explanation pages to give improved guidance as to the interpretation of SERA, including as always full references to allow people to see the original documents for themselves.

24 Apr 2015 : Database Update - Semicircular rule

All AirQuiz questions referring to the quadrantal rule have been withdrawn, to be replaced by questions that refer to the semicircular rule. This is because the quadrantal cruising levels system historically used in the UK does not exist in SERA (Standardised European Rules of the Air), and has been replaced by the semi-circular cruising level system applied throughout the rest of the world. This change came into effect in the UK on 2 April 2015. The following text is drawn from the CAA's list of key changes for SERA: "The semicircular level system replaces the quadrantal system and brings the UK into line with ICAO standards applied elsewhere around the world. IFR flights use whole 1000's of feet (e.g. 1000, 3000 etc when flying eastbound, and 2000, 4000 etc. when flying westbound). VFR flights use the intermediate 500ft levels (e.g. 3500, 5500 etc. when flying eastbound and 4500, 6500 when flying westbound). For VFR flights, compliance with the cruising levels remains good practice but is not mandatory."

07 Mar 2015 : Updates to Air Law - SERA

The Standardised European Rules of the Air (commonly referred to as SERA) took effect across Europe on 4 December 2014 and in the UK superseded most (but not all) of the UK Rules of the Air Regulations 2007. SERA is based on the same International standards as the UK Rules of the Air so in most respects they are identical. However, there are a number of differences to what aviators in the UK are accustomed to and various resources are available via the CAA SERA home page. A good summary of the changes is available here.

20 Feb 2015 : Changes to 90 day rule

The CAA have recently introduced an exemption which allows SOME private pilots to fly with a passenger, without needing to have completed three take-offs and landings withing the last 90 days. Make sure you read the CAA notice ORS4 No 1087 (Corrected) as this exemption ONLY applies to certain pilot licences and under specific conditions.

12 Feb 2015 : Regulatory Update - VFR at Night

CAA have recently cancelled an existing exemption notice IN-2012/145. This has clearly caused some confusion, and a number of people have assumed this means that the exemption to VFR at night is no longer there. However, it was just the document that was cancelled, and ongoing VFR/SVFR at night permissions are detailed in a new document which was released in December 2014. To find out more, visit the VFR/SVFR at Night explain page.

News archives

22 Nov 2014 : Database Updates - Various

We have updated a number of sections of the database. Significant updates were performed in Air Law including the addition of new questions relating to air accident investigation. In Principles of Flight, new questions were introduced on load factor limits, and lift/drag ratios and their effect on glide range. The emphasis given to slats/slot design and function was increased. A total of 16 new questions have been added to the database, 6 questions were retired and one was updated.

22 Feb 2014 : Database Update - Principles of Flight

We have restructured and updated Principles of Flight to give more emphasis on a number of question topics including aerodynamic forces and aerofoil characteristics. A total of 23 new questions have been added to the database.

30 Nov 2013 : Changes to conditional clearances

With effect from 14th November, the phraseology for conditional clearances has changed. In certain circumstances the use of the word 'after' is now replaced by the use of the word 'behind'. Find out more about these changes and the reasons for them on our conditional clearances explain page.

17 Oct 2013 : UK IMC Rating safe until 2019

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) today welcomed a proposal from the European Commission to allow the UK to continue issuing the Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) rating for pilots until April 2019.  Read the CAA announcement.

26 Sep 2013 : More PPL training changes afoot?

On 20th September, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced that thay have started work on a new training syllabus for private pilots. This was because both the CAA and GA community have highlighted issues with the current syllabus. For example, there is insufficient attention paid to the use of GPS. A further criticism is made that much of the theory specified in the standards has minimal practical application - a fair point. Watch this space for yet more changes! This development could be very positive for the PPL community. Read the CAA announcement.

15 Sep 2013 : AirQuiz EASA website launched with new database

We have completed our major update to AirQuiz. Our new system and database was launched 15 September 2013 with many improvements and a heap of new questions. See more information on our EASA PPL explain page for details of how we handled the changes.

30 Aug 2013 : AirQuiz EASA Update - new database release

We have been working on a major update to AirQuiz in the light of the significant changes to PPL examinations (see earlier news, below). Our new system and database will be launched mid September 2013. See more information on our EASA PPL explain page for details of how we are handling the changes, including how we give you credit for subjects you have already paid for.

19 April 2013 : Significant changes to PPL examinations

ALERT - Two days ago the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) published details of changes to the ground-based exam programme taken by PPL students, following consultation. Under the new exam schedule the number of exam papers sat by a student will increase from seven to nine. This increase is to accommodate new regulations from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) which require students to undertake at least 100 hours of theoretical knowledge training, including a certain element of formal classroom work as well as other interactive forms of training. Each exam will feature between 16 and 20 questions, with a pass mark of 75 per cent. For more information see the CAA Website

13 March 2013 : Transfer to new server completed

Over the last couple of weeks some AirQuiz users have been experiencing occasional connectivity problems, which we have attributed to the server, which we have now renewed. This work has now been completed with only a couple of hours downtime and you should notice snappier and reliable performance when generating examinations.

2 March 2013 : Database updates (Air Law)

We have been working on a set of revisions to the Air Law section of the database which will bring a significant number of updates. Over the coming weeks we will be introducing these new questions as soon as the quality review and accuracy checks are complete. We propose to retire a section of questions including some relating to Class B airspace as versions of these are no longer appearing in the real examinations.

26 October 2012: Our 5000th registration!

The number of people using AirQuiz continues to grow! We recently welcomed our 5000th registration, Janis from Poland who is studying for his PPL.

12 May 2012 : New 'explain' pages on LARS and Royal Flights

When people consistently give the wrong answer to a question, this prompts us to add an 'explain' page which explains in detail why a particular option is right, including references to the official primary source so that people can follow up the references. LARS and Royal Flight information has recently been updated, and we are noticing people are getting these questions wrong, so watch out for this as the PPL books may not have caught up with the change yet. You can see these new information pages at http://www.airquiz.com/explain/lars.htm and http://www.airquiz.com/explain/royalflights.htm

30 March 2012 : Introduction of one year subscriptions

Our payment provider 'NoChex' have advised us that they are no longer allowing 2 year subscriptions following a change in their policy. Whilst we are unimpressed with their stance on this, we need to comply if we are to continue using their payment services. Hence our change to one year subscriptions which affects all registrations from 1st April 2012 onwards. However: we will continue to maintain the 'unofficial extension' which allows continued access to AirQuiz as long as we maintain the servers, so this change is unlikely to have any real consequence to you. (See News item from 8th January 2008 below which explains why we do this.)

29 January 2012 : Introduction of hPa throughout our database

All questions throughout the entire AirQuiz database now use 'hectopascal' and the abbreviation 'hPa'. From the 17 November 2011, millibars have been replaced with hectopascals in the UK in aviation, a change which chiefly affects radiotelephony (CAP413) and meteorological reports/forecasts. CAA documents and publications will be amended to adopt the hectopascal in lieu of the millibar over time, so , for a while, you may see both in use. The millibar is directly equivalent to the hectopascal (hPa). No conversion factor is required as the only difference is the name. For more information and links to the official documentation, see our 'explain' page at http://www.airquiz.com/explain/hectopascal.htm

25 Aug 2011 : Database and system updates

We are currently working on some enhancements to the AirQuiz database and system. The question database is currently being reviewed to ensure that our questions are in line with current examination practices. We expect to complete this in Sept 2011. We are also overhauling the registration pages to simplify and improve matters for new users, and we plan to add a facility for people to suggest questions or tell us what questions they have found hard.

14 Jan 2011 : Database updates to Air Law

The database section relating to Air Law has been updated with 12 questions withdrawn, and 16 new questions added. This takes the database to 2,943 questions, with 472 questions in this subject area. New explanation pages relating to flying training which is now permitted at unlicensed aerodromes were also added, owing to the number of queries we have received on this since the Air Navigation Order was updated in April 2010.

7 Aug 2010 : Transfer to new server complete

During the period 5th-6th August we transferred AirQuiz to a new server. This gives us a number of system updates, and provides substantially increased storage space - something much needed given that AirQuiz has now created more than 100,000 practice examinations since 2004. (We are also now able to provide duplicate copies of examination results up to 28 days after you have taken an examination.)

8 Jul 2010 : Database updates

We have been updating the database and have added 15 new explanation pages for questions that people are consistently getting wrong. (The results emails will notify you if there is an explanation page available for a particular question.

7 Mar 2010 : Problems logging in? Now resolved

On Saturday 6th March we were alerted to login problems being experienced during the evening. The system was taken offline to investigate and rectify the problem, which turned out to be a master database file failing to update properly after a new user registration. This error was corrected and normal service was restored some five hours after we became aware of the problem. Many thanks to those of you that sent us an email to alert us - and many apologies if you were one of those that lost some examination practice time yesterday evening.

29 Oct 2009 : Aircraft General Database Update

This section of the database has been updated with new questions added on engine theory and operation, taking the AirQuiz database to 2,939 questions in total, with 512 questions in this subject.

12 Jul 2009 : ATSOCAS Update

A review of Air Traffic Services Outside Controlled Airspace (ATSOCAS) was triggered following concerns about the lack of standardisation and the problems that this raised. As part of the Airspace and Safety Initiative, a complete revision of the flight information services in uncontrolled airspace (classes F & G) was made, coming into effect from 12th March 2009. All areas of the AirQuiz database have now been updated to reflect this change.

3 Feb 2009 : Meteorology Subject Update

This subject has now been updated to take account of the recent changes to the UK TAF format described previously. In addition to these updates, we have added some more questions that test candidates ability to interpret the forecast with respect to safe flight planning.

10 Dec 2008 : Changes to UK TAF format

On the 5th November 2008, changes to the UK TAF format were introduced. The main change is to add the day of the month to the time information to reduce potential ambiguity. We are working on updates to the AirQuiz database to reflect these latest changes.

18 Sep 2008 : Removal of Cheque payments

As part of our rework of the website and as per the earlier news alert, we have now removed the cheque payments option.

11 May 2008 : Website Updates and removal of Cheque payments

In future we will be revising the 'look and feel' of the AirQuiz website, which has run in its existing form for nearly 5 years. All existing features will stay, and we plan to continue our policy of declining any advertising on the site. As part of this process, we are likely to stop accepting cheque payments in view of the very low levels of usage and slow processing.

8 January 2008 : Unofficial extension to AirQuiz subscriptions

For 2008 we have decided to 'unofficially' remove the 2 year expiry on AirQuiz accounts. This means that your subscription will guarantee you two years of service, with continued access thereafter available as long as we maintain the AirQuiz system. Your account may eventually get archived but this will be restored when you next log in. We wanted to mark our 5th year of operation and we decided on this for two reasons. Firstly to help people who have a break in their training which can mean a repeat of the examinations.  Secondly, a number of experienced pilots re-subscribed to the system just to 'keep their hand in'. We thought this was an excellent way of maintaining pilot currency and wanted to support and encourage this.

8 November 2007 : Our 2000th registration!

Congratulations to Simon, who wins the free AirQuiz subscription as our 2,000th member. Simon tells us that he saw the AirQuiz flyer at 'Aeros' flying school at Gloucester Airport, where he is training in a PA28 with instructors he rates as excellent. It was amusing to discover that his AirQuiz score for Air Law was exactly what he got in the real examination! We wish him all the best with his training and studies.

17 October 2007 : Our 2000th registration - will it be you?

Since our launch on the 1st January 2004, nearly 2000 trainee pilots have registered for access to our system. We are quite close to reaching that 2000 figure. If this happens to be you, then we will refund your registration fees in full, and give you 2 years of free access to the full range of subjects available!

3 June 2007 : AirQuiz Server Upgrade

During the latter part of May we transferred AirQuiz to a new server. We are pleased to say that this move went smoothly without any significant downtime - and you should now notice a snappier performance when creating examinations.

22 April 2007 : PPLUK Competition winner announced!

PPLUK is a relatively new website aiming to support PPL training and flying in the UK. Last month, PPLUK ran a competition supported by us with a free AirQuiz registration for the winner. PPLUK have published the winning story. (Note [2009]: This is no longer available online).

1 January 2007 : Database Update (Air Law)

This update to the AirQuiz database adds 35 new questions bringing the total to 2,905 questions. 6 outdated questions were deleted or modified. In particular, significant updates to the Air Law subject were made in the area of flight planning, following the recent update to the AIP in this respect.

26 October 2006 : Server uptime statistics now available

Server uptime statistics are now available for both AirQuiz.com (the primary server) and AirQuiz.co.uk (our backup server). Monitoring is performed by an independent server to provide genuine uptime statistics and details of any periods of downtime/maintenance. These are available on the Statistics page of this site.

12 August 2006 : Improved handling of new registrations

We have added some new features to the registration process, which provides improved error handling. In addition to this, the registration system also now detects and resolves duplicate accounts wherever possible. This helps prevent you from registering and paying for a new AirQuiz account if you already have one!

29 May 2006 : Improvements to Login Reminders

We have made the login reminder facility simpler and quicker to use. Previously you had to quote your username or your password in addition to your email address. Now, if you forget your login details just enter your registered email address and a reminder will be sent to you, together with a new password.

9 May 2006 : Duplicate Copies of AirQuiz Results

We receive the occasional request for duplicate copies of AirQuiz examination results / marking sheet emails. This can arise if the original is accidentally deleted, or if an incorrect email address is supplied during registration. We have now implemented a 'duplicate copy' service which will allow us to resend any examination result or marking sheet on request, providing the request is made within 7 days of the examination creation date.

26 March 2006 : Changes to the Meteorology section

A number of changes have been made to the F215 (UK) and F415 (European) weather charts from 14 March 2006. These are now termed UK and European low-level significant weather (Sig Wx) forecast charts, and have a different layout. In time, these changes will be reflected in the PPL theory examinations, and to support this transition process we have started introducing questions based on the new charts. For a while you will see both old and new style charts in AirQuiz examinations during the change to the new format.

16 January 2006 : Database Updates

We have been working in all sections of the AirQuiz database to ensure that it is up to date, adding further explanations for the questions people commonly get wrong. In the Air Law and Meteorology subjects, we have also added some new questions. There are now 2,849 questions available in the database.

9 July 2005 : Timer available during examinations

You can now see the elapsed and remaining time during online examinations - use the new button to start (and stop) the timer at your discretion.

20 May 2005 : Rule 5 Amendment

We have amended the questions in the AirQuiz database that test knowledge of Rule 5, following the recent amendment to the Rules of the Air 1996. Further information about this can be found athttp://www.hmso.gov.uk/si/si2005/20051110.htm

21 April 2005 : Minor update to Aircraft General

We have added 25 new questions to this examination subject. In addition to new questions on aircraft handling, we have developed some more complex questions that integrate and test the application of more than one aspect of theoretical knowledge. Questions like these make it more difficult to get away with just 'remembering facts'! This update takes the database count to 2,838 questions.

23 January 2005 : Statistics added to the "Worst" Questions

You can now see the distribution of the responses for each of the "Worst" Questions. We added this in response to feedback suggesting that it would be a good idea to see how people had answered each question. (To see the list of "Worst" questions, just login to your account - the link is found in the 'Tools and Utilities' box.)

7 January 2005 : Check out the "Worst" Questions!

In the latter half of 2004, we started work on a new database that (anonymously) records how people answer the questions. This allows us to identify the questions that people most commonly get wrong. As from the 7th January 2005, you can now see the top 5 "worst" questions for each examination subject that you are registered for. Simply login to your account - the new link is found in the 'Tools and Utilities' box.

10 November 2004 : Website, System and Database updates

All AirQuiz users now have the ability to inspect their activity logs. (Login to your account, and you will see the new link.) We have also done some minor reorganisation of the website to improve the layout - including the introduction of a new 'Help' tab, which provides easy access to the AirQuiz Help Centre. Finally, we have also added some new questions to the Radiotelephony examination due to the introduction of the SAFETYCOM frequency on the 11th November 2004.

15 August 2004 : Backup server now online!

On the 2nd August, AirQuiz users experienced intermittent connection problems throughout the day, due to major damage to the BT infrastructure of network fibre optic cables. We immediately started work on the development of a backup system, hosted on a completely different server in a different part of the UK. We are pleased to report that you now have an alternative server to use (www.airquiz.co.uk) should you have any problems connecting to AirQuiz.com

6 July 2004 : System update: improved feedback

To improve the quality of feedback to you, we have implemented two new features in AirQuiz. Firstly, all results emails will now include a list of 'suggested areas for further study' - based on an analysis of your results. Secondly, we have also introduced explanations for some of the questions that people commonly get wrong. (If there is an explanation available, a link will appear in your results email.) At the moment, only a few explanations are available, but over the coming weeks we plan to introduce more.

21 June 2004 : Navigation and Radionavigation updated

This subject has now been updated, and a total of 91 new questions were added, including new sections on density altitudes, compass use and true / magnetic / compass course calculations. You will now find that all subjects have four answer options, in line with the latest release of the CAA examinations. The database now comprises 2,803 questions! (You can check for forthcoming planned maintenance using the System Status link above.)

6 June 2004 : Radiotelephony Communications updated

This subject has now been comprehensively reworked and updated. In addition to the update to four answer options, a total of 94 new questions were added - including additional sections on distress and radio failure procedures.

30 May 2004 : Aircraft General and Principles of Flight updated

This subject has now been updated to include four answer options. 62 new questions were added - including new sections on aircraft engines and engine handling - with thanks and acknowledgement to Lycoming USA for their support.

19 May 2004 : Lycoming contribute to the AirQuiz database

Following discussion with Lycoming (aircraft engine manufacturer), Lycoming have contributed a series of questions relating to aircraft engines in general. These will be incorporated into the forthcoming release of Aircraft General & Principles of Flight.Many thanks to Lycoming (USA) for their collaboration on this.

1 May 2004 : IMC Rating updated

This minor update to the IMC section restructured a couple of subsections, and an extra 6 questions on weather conditions and decisions were added.

31 March 2004 : Human Performance & Limitations updated

This section of the database has now been updated to four answer options. 12 new questions were also added and the section on collision risks was reworked.

28 March 2004 : Flight Performance & Planning updated

This section of the database has now been updated. 14 new questions were also added. Sections on safety factors and weight and balance were updated.

25 March 2004 : Meteorology updated

The Meteorology section of the database has now been updated. In total, 54 new questions were also added, including a brand new graphical section on aviation weather symbols.

20 March 2004 : Air Law updated

The Air Law and Operational Procedures database has now been updated. In addition to the update, 46 brand new questions have been added, including a whole new section on airspace classification.

Well done!

That is serious attention to detail if you have read through all our news archive ;-)

Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.